Jethro Sheeran aka Alonestar is a rapper, producer from London. He already released few EP’s, including “Warrior”, “Isophase Light”, and “Arms To The Sun”. His new album is coming out in November. I spoke with him about his name, his music, his daughter Skyla, rap influences, his cousin Ed, and plans for the upcoming feature.
Piotr Balkus: I have to ask you about your name, Jethro, it’s very original name. It reminds me Jethro Tull. Can you tell us more about your name, and do you personally like it?
Jethro Sheeran: Jethro is actually Hebrew, but I’m not Jewish. My mum was a bit of a hippy and while she was pregnant, was watching a TV series about a hippy commune and one of the little boys was called “Jethro”. She was a fan of Jethro Tull though, but I wasn’t named after them. Most people think Jethro Tull is an individual artist but it’s actually the name of the band. I was gonna be called Sunshine if I was a girl… (Laughter)
I checked out your music, and it’s nice, fresh hip hop, R’n’B. What artists influenced you the most?
I’ve always been influenced by hip-hop, reggae an drum&bass music, growing up in Bristol. Maybe that’s why alot of my music is quite dark and bass heavy early on listening to Tricky, Massive Attack, Wild Bunch etc. My parents listened to Bob Dylan, Donovan and Van Morrison etc., so maybe that’s where I get the story telling folk aspect… My early years was also spent listening to alot of American hip-hop like N.W.A, Krs One, Tupac Shakur… I’ve always looked to America for the rap influence. I’m a huge fan of Immortal Technique, Tech N9ne , Eminem and Royce the 5’9. I look to Dr Dre and Timbaland for production influence. I love Bob Marley too. I listen to his music all the time. I love his songwriting.
Your song “Skyla Rain” is very moving, and sad. Is this song about you and your family?
Skyla Rain is a song about my daughter… Skyla was born in London where she lived till she was 3 years old. She was then abducted by her mother to Trinidad, where her mother was born. I tried for a year to bring her home, but I was getting more and more frustrated, upset and it brought me to a depth of pain and depression I’ve never experienced. The song reflects my pain of the first 3 years of her life with her mother at that time dependant on drugs, in an abusive relationship, as well as my struggle with the in laws putting me down, keeping my daughter away from me and my family. It’s all true what I say and very unjust to this day.
Alonestar, “Skyla Rain”
You say in this song “Money is your religion, and love is mine”… Does love is as important for you as music?
Great question. That’s one of my favourite lyrics in this song. The line was directed at my in laws because their obsession and love for money blinds them. I think it’s such an ugly trait. Love is the most important thing on this planet in my opinion. Period. I always say music is about the spirit, about love, about life. Love and music go hand in hand where I’m concerned, and all my music is made from my true heart. I try to stay as real as possible.
Is that true that you are related to Ed Sheeran?
Yes, Ed sheeran is my first cousin and we have recorded 6 songs together. We have a track out now called “Raise Em Up”, which is on the new Vertigo Films movie “All Stars”. The single is on the soundtrack. Me and Ed have always been close since we were kids as we were always very interested in music, so we naturally bonded over that. Have a look at some of our interviews together on youtube.
Jethro Sheeran and Ed Sheeran, “Raise Em Up”
I watched your songs and videos, and I would describe you as an English Eminem…
Thank you, that’s an absolute honour. I think Eminem is the best Rapper/wordsmith ever. He is a genius. We have similarities with our daughters, both being white rappers from a similar era. It would be a dream to work with him one day.
Tell us more about your new album, please.
My new single is coming out on Click Media Ent, who have branched off from Simon Cowell’s label SYCO. My album is coming out on Reel Me Records in November, it’s a 4-track EP called “Till That Day”, featuring Ataklan, Rosie Ribbons, Tim Starr, Meet Source and Tricia Kelshall.
Any plans for upcoming future, apart from promoting new album?
My plan is to do a UK tour then head out to Australia Later this year (2013) then USA in 2014!
Good luck then!
Follow Jethro on Twitter @ALONESTAR1 and check out his songs on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/alonestar/id373053251